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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 5/23

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference at Gillette Stadium on Monday, May 23, 2022.


MAY 23, 2022

BB: Morning. To start off, I'm just extending my personal condolences to the Cappelletti family, and Sandy and on behalf of the team, as well. Gino was just a great person, had a great passion for the Patriots and for football. I was very fortunate to get to work with Gino when I came here and he interviewed me every week -- had trouble with the tape machine, they kept changing it on him. But he was a great, great friend, and I was also close friends with Joe Bellino so that was a great connection there. Just our condolences to his family, appreciation for all that Gino did as a player, coach, taught one of the former players here, ten years in the NFL and never missed a game. MVP, leading scorer, just incredible career. 

Transitioning to our newest Patriots Hall of Fame selection: Vince. Congratulate him, and certainly well deserved. With Vince and Seymour, getting a pretty good defensive line in that Hall of Fame now, that's two cornerstones up front. Vince was great both on and off the field. Very athletic guy for his size and stature. And he was a great leader here, and still is. It was good to see him last year and hopefully he'll be around. And go C's tonight -- big one. Two great teams, obviously two great guys at the top there with Brad and Pat Riley, so. Those two put together two great teams and I'm sure they'll battle but, gotta go with the hometown guys.

Good to get on the field today, with our group. We've had the phase two sessions which have been productive, players have done well there, but now we're moving along, moving ahead. It's a long process here, and we've got a long way to go. Working a lot of people, we're doing some basic fundamental things here. Not trying to over-evaluate anything, just trying to get everybody comfortable with what they're doing. We'll have plenty of time for that here, as we go but, it's good to get out on the field and good to see the -- be good to be able to see us actually go out there and work against each other a little bit. Make some corrections and teach and improve and move forward. That's where we're at today.

Q: It's voluntary, obviously. How would you characterize this level of participation?

BB: You know, it is what it is. 

Q: Are you happy [with the level of participation]?

BB: All the guys that are here are working hard and I think they're all improving. And those other guys that aren't here, I'm sure they're working too. That's the way it is [inaudible] 

Q: Bill, back in March when we spoke to you at the league meetings, you talked a little bit about how you'd be working in conjunction with some of the other coaches on the offensive side. I know it's really early but how is that process going thus far with the time you guys have spent on the field?

BB: Good, I mean I work with all the coaches. Just try to be involved in everything, I think that's a head coach's job: to support all parts of the program. 

Q: Have those jobs been specified, for Joe and Matt in particular -- they told us that Joe's been working with the quarterbacks and Matt a little bit with the offensive line, but do those guys have titles?

BB: Do we have titles? Yeah, look, there's a lot of jobs that we have to do, we're all working on those things now but -- it's May. They'll change in June, they'll change in August, they'll change in September. So, we'll evolve it to the things timely that we need to do. If you're asking about game plans, we're months away from that -- months. 

Q: Maybe not game plans, but how about -- the one role that we asked those guys about was the play call role. Is that --

BB: Months away. Months. What plays are we calling? Mini-camp plays? 

BB: We're gonna coach the team, coach the players, we're gonna get them ready to go. We're gonna game-plan when we have to game-plan, we'll play-call, do all the things we need to do to compete in games. Right now, we're months away from that. 

Q: Is there a point where a guy who would have that role would need the time to prepare? Is that at the start of training camp?

BB: Yeah, of course.

Q: Do you have that date in mind?

BB: No.

Q: Do you know who will call offensive plays, or is that a process you'll let play out over the course of the offseason?

BB: Yeah, when we get to it, we'll get to it.

Q: Are we as laypeople, Bill, maybe making too much out of the play-caller stuff? Because from the outside looking in, it seems like the guy who sends in the plays, working kind of in conjunction with the quarterback, knowing what he likes, and getting used to the rhythm of it is important.

BB: That'll all happen.

Q: What's the attribute that you like to see from a play-caller, whether it's Charlie or one down the line that somebody does well.

BB: I don't know. We're all different. The execution of the plays, I think, are a lot more important than the plays themselves. I've called them, I've not called them. I've called them, I've not called them. And so has everybody else.

Q: I was watching NFL Network last night and they were talking about quarterbacks and the first 15 plays that Joe Montana would run and the great script -- and you were addressing that script, that 15 plays, you could be down 21-nothing with it --

BB: Thanks for reminding me about that game. 

Q: But it's insight into who's gonna put together the script -- is it a collaboration, is it one guy? That's why we're intrigued by it, because you, in the past, have made comments --

BB: Yeah, I'm sure every staff's different. I'm sure on some staffs one person puts it together, I'm sure on other staff's there's probably five, six, seven people working on it. I'm sure Bill had the final say on the script for the 49ers, but I think there was a lot of input there, just like there was with Mike and Alex Gibbs in Denver. Howard and Tony, and Peyton and whoever did it at Indianapolis. I wasn't on those staffs, so I couldn't really tell you.

Q: Did Josh do almost all of it? That would be overstating it, I would guess.

BB: Josh was here for, I don't know, 15 years. Which game do you wanna talk about, which year are we talking about here?

Q: The last seven games of 2020.

BB: Yeah, exactly.

Q: How do you coach a coach who maybe hasn't called a play before? How do you simulate that so they can have comfort when it comes time to be the guy who calls the plays?

BB: Some of the things we do in training camp. 

Q: Bill you said you've called plays, you haven't called plays, will you call offensive plays this year?

BB: I've called them and I haven't called them. And other people have called them and they haven't called them. So, we'll see.

Q: If I hear you right, you said you're not going to over-evaluate anything from today, so when you go back at the end of the day, what will make this a successful day out on the field when you evaluate? What will success look like?

BB: A lot of players working out there, so individually, we want each player to try to improve. It's an opportunity for us to work together in units and as a team, in various forms. So hopefully we can improve as units and improve as -- from a smaller unit to the bigger offensive, defense, special team units. It's all fundamentals, so, we'll work on a lot of things out there. Individuals need to get better, groups and units need to get better. We can make progress in all those areas.

Q: Bill, in terms of the development of players from a conditioning standpoint, strength, particularly those in their first offseason program -- season one to season two -- what are your general impressions of last year's rookie class, and specifically Mac in terms of physical development this past offseason?

BB: Well, again, it's like anything else: players that works hard and puts a lot into it will get a lot out of it. We have a good program, had a lot of success with our program. Guys that put a lot into it see a lot of results. Some players are more naturally gifted than others, but regardless, you put in hard training and you'll get back results. So, guys that are here, that's what the guys that are here are trying to do. Trying to improve their strength, their conditioning, their explosiveness, their flexibility, their habits in training. And that's what they're here for. And I'd say they've all made a lot of progress.

Q: Without pads on, how do you evaluate how the offensive linemen are improving-- especially some of the young guys that you drafted this year, without them really being able to play full-on, live football?

BB: Yeah, like I said, this isn't really that big of an evaluation, especially at those positions. It's teaching, it's instructions, understanding how to do things. There will be an evaluation period and that's when we'll really see how that looks. Yeah, we're not gonna be able to do that out here for sure.

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